I have been using BlackBerry Messenger for some time now to organize projects around the office, and I have to say, it is providing some serious competition to my previous solution, Basecamp by 37signals. With the latest updates to BBM, the BlackBerry is an even better tool for SMB (Small to Medium Business).
While BBM doesn’t have all the functionality that Basecamp provides, it does address some core features and it is a solid platform on which to collaborate. Here is a quick guide to using BlackBerry Messenger to run your small business:
First, you need to set up your BlackBerry Group:
- Create a BlackBerry Messenger Group for your organization. Do this from the original BBM app.
- Make sure to use the coffee mug icon as it’s strictly business.
- Add all your employees to the group.
Now lets go through the Group Activities and see how each can help your small business stay organized:
This is where you add all your employees. Make sure to add everyone.
This is a great place to discuss general business at the company. This is also where you can go to tell everyone to stop leaving garbage in the lunch room as “it’s a pain in the butt for Marina but NOT FOR THE RATS!”
While I haven’t been using this too much, I have found it’s a good place for leaving screenshots. This is great for software companies as you can share screens of a beta, or inspiration screens from other products.
This is where the bulk of business gets done. From this menu, you can create lists based on projects within the organization and assign tasks within these lists. Tasks are called Items and can be assigned a priority, deadline and category. You can also discuss items in your lists. This is a great feature for having a general discussion about a particular project, or Item. An example would be:
Item: Create proposal to renovate office space and rent
Assign To: John
Due: November 20th, 2009
Comment: Posted by John: I think we should target artists for this particular space.
No business is safe without an integrated calendar solution. Once all the lists have been created, set expectations in the calendar and mark important dates for the company. By sharing this with the group, you can ensure that everyone is on the same schedule and keeping pace.
As you can see, BBM provides an efficient way to communicate with your organization, while providing some key elements to running a business in this new economy. BBM makes for an efficient and flattened organization structure, which can go a long way to helping you run your small business.
What features would you like to see added to BlackBerry Groups?